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Thread: 1 Corinthians 13:11 - "put away / set aside childish things" - Your Interpretations

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    Default 1 Corinthians 13:11 - "put away / set aside childish things" - Your Interpretations

    What are your interpretations of this bible verse?

    "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
    - 1 Corinthians 13:11

    1 Corinthians 13 KJ21 - Though I speak with the tongues of men - Bible Gateway

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    I've certainly seen this before. It gets trotted out with some regularity on forums like this. As an atheist, I don't pay it mind one way or the other but you caught me on the right day and it made me wonder enough to go looking. Short answer, I don't think it refers to us or anything literally related to the text of that passage.

    I think context is important. First off, what is the purpose of Corinthians? I started to read it and it seemed instructional. I went digging a bit and this appears to be the case. Taken in this context, I'd see it more as an admonition to the leadership of a troubled church to "grow up" not in a literal sense but in much the same way we use it today. I don't see it as holding any special meaning to ABDLs but in a more general sense perhaps to acknowledge our ongoing responsibility to do our best, rise above our petty and foolish desires, etc. Personally, I feel that it required as much adulthood and maturity as I could muster to see that this was really okay and start to give up my shame connected with a harmless urge.

    Anyway, what do you think it's about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by olivertwist View Post
    What are your interpretations of this bible verse?

    "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
    - 1 Corinthians 13:11

    1 Corinthians 13 KJ21 - Though I speak with the tongues of men - Bible Gateway
    i think that it is most important that you interpret this for yourself.... (just as each person of faith must do)
    as your the only one who can live your life and be responsible for your soul.

    as an addendum;
    there is what i have always felt was an incredible bit of wisdom by way of a quote in the movie "Kingdom of Heaven".... something i personally have always believed, but had not the words to put so succinctly.
    please find it bellow;

    None of us know our end, really, or what hand will guide us there. A king may move a man, a father may claim a son, but that man can also move himself, and only then does that man truly begin his own game. Remember that howsoever you are played or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone, even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power. When you stand before God, you cannot say, "But I was told by others to do thus," or that virtue was not convenient at the time. This will not suffice. Remember that.

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    My interpretation of it is incredibly literal. The speaker put away his childish things when he became an adult. However, don't take me too seriously. I'm incredibly biased when it comes to the bible.

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    Good analysis Trevor. IMHO this is simply suggesting that there comes a time to take responsibility seriously and in an adult like manner.

    Children have not yet gained the wisdom required to assume full responsibility as recognised within the law.

    So I guess we ought to be all heroic, wise and mature... With no sense of wonder, or fun. But we're not...We are complex individuals (human beings believe it or not)

    Therefore we make the best of our situation in as responsible a manner as we are able. For me, that means not avoiding my adult responsibilities ( part of which I have come to realise is nurturing a very real, deep seated psychological need that if handled responsibly will not harm anyone)

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrettyFox View Post
    My interpretation of it is incredibly literal. The speaker put away his childish things when he became an adult. However, don't take me too seriously. I'm incredibly biased when it comes to the bible.
    When considering a verse, one always has to consider the context of what's around it. I pulled it up, and it's a lot like Trevor says. It's not about putting away your toys. It's about getting your shit figured out and acting accordingly. It's one of the bible's versions of "Straighten up and fly right." In this case, the preceding verses are talking about true charity and how it is the only thing that will not fail at Judgment Day. "We know in part and prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect (Jesus) comes, then that which is in part (knowledge and prophesy) shall be done away." So, if you were smart or guessed correctly, it doesn't matter; knowledge and prophesy fail. If you were genuinely charitable, you win, since charity will not fail.

    The next line, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things," serves as metaphor (the bible's loaded with metaphor) and warning. When you grow up, you can't play with your toys all day and wait for mom and dad to take care of you. You get your shit figured out and act accordingly. You straighten up and fly right.

    It's actually a very anti-intellectual message, if you decide not to put knowledge aside as it tells you to do and instead think about it. "Do what god tells you to, and don't think too much about it. Knowledge won't be rewarded, but service will be, so quit thinking and start serving," is essentially what it's saying.

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    So you read the bible? Well there's this passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17.
    "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."
    *...* hm, where's my gun... :p


    No, well I agree on the general view that it's simply wrong to put it out of context.
    Especially the Corinthians are very often used for weddings, since it basically talks about love.
    And principally the love that Christians should have.

    As the next verse goes on: "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."... you need to take responsibility, to be equal in the name of love.
    Although this would be also possible as a child it's meant to state your mental maturity. So to know what it means exactly and not to take it in the wrong manner, or misuse it by mistake lightly, since you're too immature to comprehend it fully.
    That's how I'd interpret it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    When considering a verse, one always has to consider the context of what's around it. I pulled it up, and it's a lot like Trevor says. It's not about putting away your toys. It's about getting your shit figured out and acting accordingly. It's one of the bible's versions of "Straighten up and fly right." In this case, the preceding verses are talking about true charity and how it is the only thing that will not fail at Judgment Day. "We know in part and prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect (Jesus) comes, then that which is in part (knowledge and prophesy) shall be done away." So, if you were smart or guessed correctly, it doesn't matter; knowledge and prophesy fail. If you were genuinely charitable, you win, since charity will not fail.

    The next line, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things," serves as metaphor (the bible's loaded with metaphor) and warning. When you grow up, you can't play with your toys all day and wait for mom and dad to take care of you. You get your shit figured out and act accordingly. You straighten up and fly right.

    It's actually a very anti-intellectual message, if you decide not to put knowledge aside as it tells you to do and instead think about it. "Do what god tells you to, and don't think too much about it. Knowledge won't be rewarded, but service will be, so quit thinking and start serving," is essentially what it's saying.
    Thank you for doing the work for me, and you are absolutely right. Always read 2 to 3 versus in front of and after a given versus. The context is always important and not doing so is how the flimflam artist work. A good example of this is in the movie "The Toy" when the butler uses two scripture quotes from totally unrelated areas to tell some one "Jesus said to go jump into the water and you should do like wise".

    There again I have seen on more then one occasion in the forums where the advice is given to put on your big boy pants and take care of the big stuff and have balance with the little stuff.



    Another thought that I have always followed is beware of people using single versus from the bible and politicians quoting statistics!!!!

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    Yes, this is the great marriage scripture, ending with "but of all of these is love, so put love first". What could be greater than that. Jesus said that we can't know the Kingdom of heaven but as that of a little child. I think I do that quite well.

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    This is one verse I spent a lot of time on in my struggle to accept my infantilism, since I spent a lot of time under the false idea that God hated what I did. I came to a pretty clear understanding of what it means (I think so, anyway). My views do come from a Christian point of view, and some will disagree (perhaps even other Christians).

    As GoldDragonAurkarm said, we need to look at the context, so here's the whole chapter of the Bible this comes from;

    http://mobile.biblegateway.com/passa...13&version=NIV

    As was mentioned, this book is a letter - specifically, instructions for living to please God. The chapter before this one is all about the gifts of the Spirit (Christians believe that God gives believers different talents or abilities to serve with - these are called spiritual gifts). The last line of Chapter 12 is "And yet I will show you the most excellent way". This launches into the present chapter.

    The first eight verses - those ever-popular verses on love - set the context for the chapter. No matter what gifts we have or service we offer, no matter who we are, we are nothing without love. This is the "most excellent way" talked about. Loving God and one another - the summary of what it means to be a Christian (see Matthew 22:34-40). In v. 4-7, we get a practical description of what love means. And finally, in v. 8, we get to the present discussion.

    'Love never fails". That starts this little subsection. Paul, the author, goes on to say, "But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." These are some of those spiritual gifts talked about in Chapter 12. All these spiritual powers and talents we have will pass away. But love will never fail. That's the context here - that love is the only 'gift' that will never die. V. 9-10 talk about how these gifts are incomplete. They are only partial reflections of God's nature. But when Christ (the perfect one) returns, these partial gifts will pass away. Love will not, as v. 8 says. And now, finally, we have the context to understand verse 11.

    The Bible uses tons of analogies, stories, and figurative illustrations - even a quick scan of the four Gospels will show this. And this is a perfect example. But to understand any analogy, you need to look at the context, which we've just done. What's Paul talking about here? Is it adult responsibility? No. Is it about growing up? No. Is it about being intellectual, a leader, or a big macho man? No! This verse has nothing to do with literally growing up. Paul is using childhood as a symbol for spiritual gifts, the topic he was just discussing these last few verses.

    He's basically saying, "Just like when children grow up they stop acting like children, when Christ returns we won't need these other gifts. When we are mature in our faith, we will not need to rely on gifts, but will understand that love is the fulfillment of what Jesus came to teach".

    So there you have it. It's not about growing up and giving up childhood. In fact, the innocence and faith of a childhood is viewed quite positively in the Bible. Read Matthew 18:1-5, and think about what Jesus is saying about childhood. I won't subject you to another lengthy exposition, but suffice it to say, adults need to take on some level of child like trust and love to truly understand God's love. Not abandoning adult intellect or responsibility, but having the love and admiration of a child. (Hmm, sounds a bit like being an adult baby in a way...just saying!)

    God's message is, fundamentally, one of love. Jesus hung out with the outcasts and the hated of His day. I can't see Him casting out us ABs for being the oddballs of our day. This verse doesn't condemn us, and we should not feel condemned by it.

    I hope this was helpful!

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